Are quick-change pedals a thing?

jdoe 05/15/2018. 8 answers, 477 views
pedals clipless

I'm considering buying clipless pedals for riding my bike on the weekend, but they might not be the best choice for a 15 minute ride to work during the week—I'd need to drag along my regular shoes in a backpack anyways, I need to stop at a bunch of intersections (Manhattan), etc.

From a quick Google I saw an article about changing pedals "quickly" in 5 minutes. I assume this is for people that are particularly good at it and have practiced a lot, and it will still involve tools. Are there systems that allow me to quickly remove and swap out pedals, in 10 seconds or so? Like swapping a seat or a wheel.

I know that there are combination pedals, but these seem like they might be the worst of both worlds? Mediocre at being a flat pedal, mediocre at being a clipless pedal?

8 Answers


clabacchio 05/15/2018.

I'm trying to solve the same problem, and after some searching I've ordered something like this:

enter image description here

It's a plastic pad that you clip on clipless pedals to ride them with normal shoes. I'm not sure about their efficacy with wet weather and sure they don't allow pulling upwards, but for riding to work I think they would do.


Chris H 05/15/2018.

Addressing your last paragraph, basically you're right:

There are pedals that are SPD on one side and flat on the other. I've only ridden them in normal shoes but found them the worst of both worlds.

On two of my bikes I have shimano M424s which are SPD on both sides with a plastic cage around them so you can wear normal shoes. In dry weather, for short distances, they're OK with trainers or hiking boots, but they'd be bad with office shoes.

I keep work shoes under my desk which makes things much easier.


One option is half clips - basically toe clips without straps.


Unlike with quick release wheels, the fastener for pedals bears all the load, so a quick release would have to be very strong. There's also very little room to play with and the forces are large. Combined with no incentive to sell something, this means manufacturers would have a hard time making money from a QR pedal product.

Pedals are quicker to change than (back) wheels; that 5 minutes is achievable with a cheap spanner and very little practice. If you go down that route you should mark the left and right very clearly, and keep a pot of grease handy. I swap flat pedals on for family holidays and it really is a quick job.


ojs 05/15/2018.

Wellgo used to have the exact system called QRD this question is about. For reasons that can only be speculated about, neither Wellgo website or the local chain that used to have then lists them any more. If you want to try them yourself, there are plenty available on eBay.

MKS has their own quick release system that is still available, but it doesn't include clipless pedals.


Johnny 05/16/2018.

On my commute bike, I use 2 sided combo pedals with SPD+platforms on both sides like these PD-M424 SPD Dual Platform Pedals

PD-M424

I've tried using clip-on SPD platforms with regular SPD's, and found that those platforms are not very stable, can be difficult to snap in/out, and tend to fall off - they might be ok for a quick trip down the block, but won't stand up to a long commute. Platforms for other clipless styles (like Look) might be more stable, but I like SPD's for commuting since it's easy to walk in (some) SPD shoes.

I also tried some combo pedals with a platform on one side and SPD clipless on the other (I think it was the Shimano M324), and found it too annoying to have to make sure the pedal was flipped around the right way.

So finally I settled on these dual sided M424's, and have been pretty happy, the platform is comfortable for riding with regular shoes and while clipping in to the SPD's took a little practice because of the platform, it now feels as easy as clipping into bare SPD pedals. The SPD part is spring loaded and sticks up a little to make it easy to clip in, but it's not a very strong spring, so it folds down easily with regular shoes. It's not fully recessed under the platform when pushed down so it's possible that would cause some foot irritation on a long ride, but I've never had a problem with it.

When I had a 4 mile commute, I used the platforms with regular street shoes almost exclusively (except for longer rides), now I have a 15 mile commute and use SPD biking shoes almost exclusively (except for shorter rides) and I'm pretty happy with the pedals either way.


Ross 05/15/2018.

I had Shimano M324 SPD pedals for years on my commuter, they're a platform on one side and a SPD clip on the other.

I found them to be an acceptable tradeoff for what I was looking for, which was primarily clipped in riding with occasional regular shoes. They are easy enough to clip into (as the flat part of the pedal tends to end up face down), and work fine for regular shoes.

Downsides are that they're a bit heavier than regular SPD pedals, and the previously mentioned fact that the flat ends up face down, so regular shoe riding isn't perfect... But a lot more convenient than swapping pedals every day.

There are a number of SPD with platform options out there. What you go with depends on what you're trying to min/max.


Kris 05/15/2018.

Higher quality pedals often have a key for a hex wrench on the inside of the pedal spindle, ether 6mm or 8mm. It is faster to change them out using a hex wrench than rotating the pedal wrench all the way around that many times. You will have to use the short end of the wrench to break the tension in the threads, then use the long end for a quick extraction. When reinstalling the pedals, use the long end to put it in (low torque), being careful not to cross thread, then tighten it down with the short end (high torque). no hex key vs hex key


ChrisW 05/15/2018.

I know that there are combination pedals, but these seem like they might be the worst of both worlds? Mediocre at being a flat pedal, mediocre at being a clipless pedal?

I have that for SPDs and like them.

Once you have attached, I don't see how they could be any worse than a two-sided pedal: i.e. your shoes click into the pedals and, on you go!

Left to themselves, the pedals hang vertically (one side facing forward and the other backward): so if you approach them one way, with your foot, you get the mechanism, and if you approach them the other way then you get the flat. So it's very rarely difficult to instantly find the side of the pedal that you want.

The "flat" side, for street shoes, isn't especially comfortable: I don't know why that's so, maybe it's just comparative, i.e. I prefer the bike shoes and being attached, for biking. But if I am (even rarely) wearing street shoes, having a flat side is more comfortable than a both-sided pedal would be.


Henry Crun 05/15/2018.

Wellgo make unpluggable pedals, and you can get plain and clipon style pedals, so you can swap at whim.

I am happy with mine. They have several different types of pedal, just look on Aliexpress.

Other advantages:

  • pedals can't hit back of your car when on bike rack
  • bike can't be ridden away when you have to pop into a shop and don't have your lock.
  • if you have to walk your bike a long way you can pop the pedal out, and not rip your shins on it.
  • easier to pack bike/2bikes into boot of car with pedals off

Only thing is they have two types of releaseStyle B is the original (and seems more common). The button hits your shoe sole as the crank rotates, and chews it up. (well if you have wide feet) Get Style C with the round release.

You need to grease the insert point, it will wear if dry.

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